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Dr Shannon Simpson

From little things, big things grow.

This saying rings true when it comes to Dr Shannon Simpson’s research on preterm lung health that was published in the prestigious journal, The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, recently.

The study found survivors of very preterm birth face declining lung function as they get older, rather than growing out of any lung problems as previously believed.

In the most comprehensive study of its kind since significant improvements in neonatal critical care during the 1990s drastically improved the chances of survival for preterm babies, a team of researchers led by Dr Simpson spent eight years following the progress of 200 babies born at less than 32 weeks’ gestation, along with 67 babies born at full term.

To get to this point it is important to acknowledge some of the support Dr Simpson has received, especially the Imogen Miranda Suleski Fellowship she was awarded in 2016.

Dr Simpson said the fellowship provided preliminary data that helped secure NHMRC funding for a follow-up of this cohort (now adolescents and young adults) as well as an interventional trial to determine if researchers can improve lung function in those born preterm.

“Their support has meant that I have been able to leverage additional funding to expand the research and I thank the Lords for their generosity,” she said.   

Jan said the family was delighted to hear that Dr Simpson and her team had their research published in the Lancet.

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